Saturday, February 25, 2012

Smallest Slitherin

Tetracheilostoma breuili

An interesting discovery this week while filling wheel barrows of previously dredged silt and soil for a new garden bed from the aqueduct at Diamond Falls Botanical Garden The tiniest of snakes was found in the soil, as thick as a piece of cooked spaghetti and around 4 inches long. St Lucians are extremely panicked by snakes due to the nasty past of placing one of the deadliest snakes ,the fer-de-lance, onto the island during slavery to keep them from running away into the forests. This soil snake as its called here is totally harmless feeding on termite eggs and other small nibbles. When i did a google search the name Blair hedges appeared noted for his discovery in 2008 of the worlds smallest snake in Barbados and named after his wife !! I sent him pictures of the found snake and was told it wasnt the tiniest but was St Lucia's endemic thread snake,
Tetracheilostoma breuli.He asked if we find another one to put it in a jar of overproof run to preserve it so he can compare with previos collections. We will see if we come across another wiggly little snake...

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